One of the mains of casinos has always been the Roulette wheel. Every casino has Roulette tables, and many online gaming sites offer Roulette as well. How exactly does Roulette work? Roulette is really quite a simple game, and offers a number of different bets that may pique your interest.
A Roulette table consists of a felt board with 36 numbers, 18 red and 18 black, laid out on a grid. At the top of the board are a green Zero and Double Zero (Only American Roulette tables have the Double Zero). On the sides of the board are additional bet options, such as red or black, odd or even, 1-18, 19-36, 1st 12, 2nd 12, 3rd 12, and 1st Column, 2nd Column, 3rd Column. There is also a wheel which has all of the numbers printed above tiny slots where the Roulette ball can fall.
To play, simply place (or in the case of an online roulette table, drag) the amount of chips you want to bet on the table. You can play one number, which pays 35 to 1, two numbers, which is called a split bet and pays 17 to 1, three numbers, or a street bet, which pays 11 to 1, four numbers, also called a square or corner bet, which pays 8 to 1, five numbers (0,00,1,2 and 3) paying 6 to 1, or six numbers (line bet), which pays 5 to 1. On the side, you can bet the first half of the numbers, the second half, black, red, odd or even, which all pay even money. 1st, 2nd or 3rd 12 numbers or 1st, 2nd, or 3rd column which all pay 2 to 1.
Once your chips have been placed, the croupier spins the wheel, and spins the ball in the opposite direction in a rut benefit the top of the wheel. He will announce "no more bets" after which no chips can be placed. Sometimes the ball builds around the wheel and lands in one of the slots. The number above that slot is the winning number, and bets are paid accordingly.
Where does the House get its edge? The payouts are determined according to the likelihood of each number coming up, without taking the Zeros into account (this is why if you can find a Roulette wheel with only one Zero as opposed to a Double Zero, you should play at that table). The odds of your number coming out are 1 in 36 if no Zeros are present, so a single number pays out at 35 to 1. However because of the Zeroes, the true odds of hitting your number are 1 in 38, or 37 to 1 , and therein lies the edge.
Some casinos also show the number history, that is, what the last twenty or so numbers to hit were. Players may look at this and decide certain numbers are "due" or "unlucky." Of course in reality there is no relationship between what has been spun before and what will spin next, but many superstitious players may not be convinced of this.
When you play Roulette either live or online, feel free to experiment with the different kinds of bets you can make. Since the odds on all of them are about the same relative to the true odds, there is no one bet on the Roulette wheel that is particularly better than any other, so find the ones you think are the most fun and go to it.